In last night's 7-5 loss at the hands of the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley joined an exclusive club. He was minus five. This has now been done 170 times by defensemen since the NHL began keeping track in the 60's. This is hardly the type of accomplishment a player wants to be remembered for, but that doesn't make it any less interesting.
The -5 is the lowest single game plus minus recorded by a Star since Mike Modano and Benoit Hogue were both -5 on March 26th of 1996 in an 8-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Mike Modano actually recorded a -6 once. The North Stars lost 7-4 to the Detroit Red Wings on April 14, 1992 when Modano hit the magic number. This has only been done 47 times since it has been tracked.
Craig Ludwig also has a -6 to his name. On October 23, 1990 as a New York Islander he and his Islander friends got drilled 8-1. Ludwig has another big one to his name also. On February 17th, 1993 he was -5 in a 10-5 North Stars loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. This was the only other game I saw where the team scored five goals and had a player -5, but there could be others. It seems unlikely that there would be many others,
This has happened 17 other times to the Stars. Modano and Neal Broten are the only ones to do it twice as a member of the organization. The Stars have caused seven players to have -5 or worse in four different games, but not since 1996. Five of those players were within ten days of each other starting with a Stars beating of the Jets 7-3 on February 2nd, 1994. Ten days later the Stars beat up Pittsburgh 9-3.
On an even stranger note every time the Stars have caused someone to be -5 it has happened in the month of February. It happened in 1994, 1995, and 1996.
A lot goes into a -5. It takes a village for one player to end up as a -5. Daley had a rough game no doubt, but his -5 isn't indicative of his play only. The team from the net out failed to execute in the loss. He bears responsibility for his share of the poor play. Your criticism, whatever it may be, is definitely warranted.
But let's not forget how embarrassing a number like -5 is. That can't leave a good taste in the mouth of a professional athlete, There is every reason to expect Daley, and the rest of his teammates, to come out trying to make a statement against a very high quality Nashville Predators team.
Daley has now added the 18th -5 in Stars history to the list. He's in moderately rare company. Let's hope the Stars can avoid adding anyone else to this less than ideal list for the remainder of the season.